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AFL: Alex Jesaulenko, 76, is diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease

Parkinson’s disease is a neurodegenerative disorder that affects parts of the brain. There is currently no cure for Parkinson’s disease. 

What are the symptoms? 

The main symptoms of Parkinson’s disease are muscle stiffness, slowness of movement, tremors, sleep disturbance, chronic fatigue, an impaired quality of life and can lead to severe disability.  

What are the early signs?

Symptoms start gradually, sometimes beginning with a barely noticeable tremor in just one part of the body.

In the early stages, people may show little or no expression, and their arms may not swing when they walk.

Speech can also become soft or slurred, with the condition worsening over time.

What are the causes?

Scientists believe a combination of genetic and environmental factors are the cause of Parkinson’s disease.

It occurs after a person experiences loss of nerve cells in a part of their brain. However, it is not known why the loss of nerve cells associated with the condition takes place.

Scientists say genetics cause about 10 to 15% of Parkinson’s, and can therefore run in families.

Other factors attributed to causing the condition include environmental problems such as pollution, though such links are inconclusive.

How is it diagnosed?

No tests can conclusively show if a person has the disease, but doctors can make a diagnosis based on symptoms, medical history and a physical examination.

A specialist will ask the person to write or draw, walk or speak to check for any common signs of the condition.

They may even check for difficulty making facial expressions and slowness of limb movement.

Can it be treated?

Although there is no cure, a number of treatments are available to help reduce the symptoms.

The three main remedies include medication, exercise and therapy, which can help people in different ways.

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Read more at DailyMail.co.uk